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Tire clearance problem with new bike

Old 07-25-15, 08:53 AM
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lighthearted
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Tire clearance problem with new bike

I just got home with my brand new Ridley Fenix! The bike looks and rides awesome! It's a little stiff, but I'm a big guy at 225lbs, and a little extra stiffness never hurt me anyway. I just swapped out the stock 25c tires (Conti Grandsport Race) for my current favorite tire (Conti GP 4000S II 25c) and I noticed that there is a problem with tire clearance. With the stock tires there was a few mm of clearance between the seat tube and the tire. Now, there is a little less than 1mm. I measured it. I double checked to make sure that the bead is set properly around the rim. It is. I thought that the stock tires looked a little small to be considered a "25c" tire. Anyway, I'm pretty bummed now. I don't feel that this is safe to ride with such little clearance. Does anyone else ride with such minimal tire clearance? I was really hoping to be able to go up to a 28c tire, but it looks like 25 is even pushing it. Funny thing is, I think I've seen pics of team riders riding this exact frame on the Paris Roubaix. Did they ride the cobblestones with 25c or smaller tires? I always thought the "Pave" bikes by definition were supposed to accept bigger tires. It's too bad. This bike is perfect for me in every other way. The guy at Performance Bike shop told me I had a 30 days "no buyer's remorse" return policy. I really hope I don't have to take him up on that.

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Old 07-25-15, 10:10 AM
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Are they aired up to your riding pressure? If they are not rubbing, and the wheel is set in there and locked in, and there is no rubbing, I don't see why they wouldn't work. Take it for a long "test" ride and see what happens. Not all tires are exactly the same when it comes to sizing.
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Old 07-25-15, 10:31 AM
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Can you get some clearance by adjusting where the wheel sits in the dropouts?
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Old 07-25-15, 10:36 AM
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Man, that's a bummer. Just when you thought bike manufacturers were starting to get more sensible about tire clearance...
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Old 07-25-15, 10:45 AM
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Then 23 or sewups in 22mm it will have to Be .

Want bigger clearances? Cross Bikes offer that. Ridley makes Good ones of those .
Pros ride a cross Bike, with bigger chainrings on Roubaix cobbles if they expect rain.

If It was steel A well done Dent would Make the clearance .

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-25-15 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 07-25-15, 10:45 AM
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I wouldn't ride that.
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Old 07-25-15, 10:49 AM
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Tire sizes seldom match the specification. I would not run less than 3mm clearance. Tires do grow a bit after being inflated for a while, and after fixing a flat out on the road you may not get it seated quite right. And what about road debris?

Pros typically use 25mm tires in road races these days. In Paris-Roubaix or cobbled stages, 32mm are common. When I first got into road riding, 19mm was quite common, and I was the oddball riding 23mm under my Clydesdale arss! Now I would never consider riding less than 32mm: unnecessary suffering.

We are still in a transition period where many bikes in stores are not up with current tire size trends, especially on smaller frames, so you need to specifically look for the clearance you need. Measure from the outer edge of the rim to the tightest spot on the frame and fork. It must measure your desired tire size plus 6mm at least. Same for width.

True, for the store a return is a bummer, but having the wrong bike is a bigger bummer. If they have something else that will satisfy you and keep you and your recommendations coming back, that is not so bad.
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Old 07-25-15, 12:57 PM
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I wouldn't ride it that way either. I'd either go back to the stock tires or down to 23's.
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Old 07-25-15, 01:23 PM
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You may get some flex in the spokes, but for the most part your tire won't be getting any bigger. You could put some masking tape on it and see if it rubs when riding. I doubt it will. Suddenly appearing wheel hop?

The issue I would imagine is that during the winter, it would tend to pick up debris and put some slight cosmetic scratches on the frame (commonly seen under fork crowns).

Someone posted a note recently about a TT bike with adjustable rear dropouts. But, I don't think that is being used with ordinary frames yet. It wouldn't hurt to check though.

Anyway, you are close, but have some clearance. It is up to you what you are comfortable with.

How heavy are you? Are 23mm tires worth considering?

Perhaps get out on the road and grind 1mm of tread off of the tire
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Old 07-25-15, 03:23 PM
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You could have a machinist make little shims to fit at the top of your drop out slots. There would be no real force on them, so they could be glued in place with JB Weld or something similar. Depending on how deep the slots are, you might gain as much as 3mm that way (make sure your skewer heads will clear the lawyer tabs). Your brakes should have that much room for adjustment, I would think. Reset your B screw and check RD adjustment too.
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Old 07-25-15, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Cross Creek View Post
You could have a machinist make little shims to fit at the top of your drop out slots. There would be no real force on them, so they could be glued in place with JB Weld or something similar. Depending on how deep the slots are, you might gain as much as 3mm that way (make sure your skewer heads will clear the lawyer tabs). Your brakes should have that much room for adjustment, I would think. Reset your B screw and check RD adjustment too.
That would give one vertical adjustment, but the problem is horizontal, seat tube clearance. So your benefit would be very minimal. And, if the dropouts are angled forward, one might even loose space.

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It is a new bike. Either find tires you like, or return the bike. Don't try to cobble a fix together that the manufacture should have done in production.
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Old 07-25-15, 04:29 PM
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Yeah, my bad. I read seat stay rather than seat tube. I've never seen so little clearance between tire and seat tube as that pic, but then I gravitate to bikes with room for fenders and pannier-heel strike clearance. My road bike has about 40mm of clearance at the same point with 35mm tires.
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Old 07-25-15, 06:17 PM
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I'd take it back.
It's not adaptable to a reasonable range of tire choices. The clearance appears to be even less than is shown on their web site. What happens when a pebble sticks to the tire?
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Old 07-25-15, 06:46 PM
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Just use 23mm tires..... Sheesh! We're talking 2mm's- you won't be able to tell the difference.
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Old 07-25-15, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
Just use 23mm tires..... Sheesh! We're talking 2mm's- you won't be able to tell the difference.
How much do you weigh?

I'm 185 now, but at 230 and 240, 700x25 makes a big difference compared to 700x23.

But 1mm clearance is too tight, all kinds of crap your tires pick up from the road will jam up in that gap.

My P2C has a faired area around the rear tire also, but it's best to get about 1/8" or so air between the tire and the frame.

Your frame does not appear to have rear facing horizontal dropouts, so I think you are SOL.

Last edited by andr0id; 07-25-15 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 07-25-15, 07:58 PM
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No substitute for checking out in advance whether a potential bike will accommodate any tire size that might be used.
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Old 07-25-15, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by energyandair View Post
I'd take it back.
It's not adaptable to a reasonable range of tire choices. The clearance appears to be even less than is shown on their web site. What happens when a pebble sticks to the tire?
Sadly, that is par for the course for mass produced road bikes. Few shop-floor roadies will even fit 25s comfortably, 28s forget about it
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Old 07-25-15, 08:17 PM
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I've ridden with zero clearance tires, but usually in the fork. I'd have no issue riding that bike, but I'd use a piece of muffler tape, or at lease electrical tape as a chafe patch on the back of the seat tube. The tire won't touch but it will carry adhered sand and fine stones and take the paint off the tube otherwise.
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Old 07-25-15, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Sadly, that is par for the course for mass produced road bikes. Few shop-floor roadies will even fit 25s comfortably, 28s forget about it
Many of the "endurance" billed bikes will. My Specialized Roubaix has what is said to be 700x28, but they are closer to 30's. Challenge Paris-Roubaix tires.
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Old 07-25-15, 11:58 PM
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Yep, my Felt Z5 came with 25's on it, but I think I could go up to a 28 possibly.
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Old 07-26-15, 01:09 AM
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What is the clearance like elsewhere on the fame and fork?

This is CF, right? They've already added a flat spot for the derailleur hanger. It is beyond me why the manufacture wouldn't sculpt the mold around the tire. The tube could remain straight, but be sculpted back 5mm or so around the tire. Perhaps it would be more aero that way too. With the two bottle cage bolts and derailleur clamp, the seat post would be unaffected.

Of course, the next engineer would just shorten the chainstays, and one would end up in the same place.
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Old 07-26-15, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by knobster View Post
Many of the "endurance" billed bikes will. My Specialized Roubaix has what is said to be 700x28, but they are closer to 30's. Challenge Paris-Roubaix tires.
Thing is those bikes tend to have slacker geometry and handling, last I knew. Also depends on the wheelset. I run 28s on my Belgium+ rims, measure 30.7 mm IRL on a caliper, fit just fine in my Seven because I ordered it to do that way back when.

Pretty much the only way to get a road race-handling bike that can fit 28s is to order custom.
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Old 07-26-15, 07:29 AM
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It's the air pressure that supports you, ... Just keep those 23's pumped up hard enough.

Or ...
The guy at Performance Bike shop told me I had a 30 days "no buyer's remorse" return policy.
I really hope I don't have to take him up on that.
That is your fall back. get something else.
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Old 07-26-15, 02:20 PM
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Ridley Fenix is a series of frames with different spec. The A-series have tight clearance. SL-series have 30mm and were used in the pave races.
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Old 07-26-15, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Ridley Fenix is a series of frames with different spec. The A-series have tight clearance. SL-series have 30mm and were used in the pave races.
Sounds like a case of: "Right Church, Wrong Pew."

Exchange time for an SL and good to go.

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